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Star Wars Miniatures» Forums » General

Subject: Getting into it, where to start? rss

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Sean Long
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Hey there fellow geeks,

I've been huge into Star Wars for a long time now, and in addition I've been pretty huge into miniatures gaming for a couple years. However, despite this I've still constantly resisted getting into Star Wars Miniatures.

Mostly, this was because I don't have a great area to play such a game, and also because I have no idea where to start with buying stuff.

So now I find myself with a little cash to burn, and I also have a nice gaming table incoming very shortly, so I'm ready to plunk down some cash to get into this game.

There's usually going to be 2 players, maybe stretching to 4 (we'll probably go with teams at that point). Personally, I love the "classic" Star Wars stuff, Rebels vs. Imperials, but also am a fan of the extended universe and bounty hunters.

As well, my budget is around $100-$120 to get into it. Where would I get the most bang for my buck here? Should I buy a case of Rebel Storm stuff along with one of the Starter sets to get me rules and some maps? Or should I hit up eBay and grab a bunch of commons from there for cheap?

Thanks!
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Bernd Caspers
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I don´t know current prices and availibility, but they are easy to compare/ find out on the internet. While Rebel Storm has many cool iconic pieces, you must be aware of the fact that these are among the weakest units in the game gameplaywise and have been surpassed by far towards the end of the SWM lifecycle.
If that´s no problem with you, go ahead and get yourself some Rebel Storm, but if you do have a problem with that, I would suggest Imperial Entanglement, a much later "classic" set with some very powerful pieces (actually partly too powerful for my personal taste,partly the reason why I stopped buying new sets after Force Unleashed).
A case is always a good idea to start, because it assures you have no Rare and Very Rares doubles, which are often Unique and with that useless as doubles.
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Sean Long
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Cool! Thanks. I've tried reading through some of the reviews on here, and there's just so much out there.

I'll check around to see where I can find good deals on Imperial Entanglements cases and whatnot.
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Bernd Caspers
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Aside from a starter set, you should also get "Attack on Endor" it´s comes with an AT-ST, a Stormtrooper officer, a Stormtrooper, a Scout-Trooper and 2 double-sided maps.
It´s usually super cheap to get and a worthy set.
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Flying Arrow
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Actually, neither.

You're in an ideal position to get a great deal by buying one big lot off ebay - essentially one other person's whole collection. Those collections usually go cheap because you don't have to bid against many other people

* Collectors and established players are just chasing specific pieces and don't want doubles of all the extra stuff, so they don't typically want huge lots. They probably already have half or more of whatever is in any given $100 lot, so they would only want it at a steep discount.
* Newer players normally aren't ready to put that much money into the game all at once, so they're typically bidding on the $20-$50 lots.
* RPG players don't typically care that much what pieces they get, so they just go for whatever is the most pieces for the cheapest price.

As a consequence, the "whole collection" auctions that go for $75-$200 typically go for really cheap (on a per-piece basis) compared to either booster cases or the smaller lots that go for under $50.

Also, if you go with a booster case, you'll get lots of duplicates on the commons/uncommons since they all come from the same set. Buying someone's collection will get you a better mix of pieces (typically).
From ebay, you can pick up a bunch of commons pretty cheap, but that doesn't get you the best gameplay variety.

Look for a lot that has a "normal" distribution of about 1 rare out of every 7 pieces, rather than a lot that is mostly commons/uncommons. Any piece that has a proper name (e.g. Han Solo, Wedge Antilles) is a unique, and all uniques are rare. Some non-uniques are also rare, but not very many. Ideally, the lot would also include the normal amount of very rares. One out of three rares are "very rare", but unless the seller spells it out for you, it'd take a lot of homework to tell the difference. Or, if you want to focus on Rebel/Imperial, buy one lot of each - often, people sell lots that are all of the same faction.

At lower prices, a lot with that kind of distribution would go for about $1 per piece, give or take. (More if there's a higher-valued "chase" piece in it - there are only a couple dozen of those, though.) Over $75, though, and the price drops considerably.

This lot, for instance, would have been a great lot for you - 188 pieces plus maps for $93 shipped:
http://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-53200-19255-0/1?type=4&cam...

That was an exceptionally good deal, but there are similar ones all the time.

Here are a couple that look like good starter lots:

171 pieces, auction currently at $51, will probably end in your target price range:
http://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-53200-19255-0/1?type=4&cam...

50 pieces lot:
http://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-53200-19255-0/1?type=4&cam...
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Sean Long
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That's actually an excellent point. I'd forgotten about the lots that people sell via eBay. I'll do some trolling on there to see what I can pick up.

Thanks!
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Flying Arrow
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My last post was about getting the best bang for the buck, but if you want more control over exactly which pieces you get, the ebay seller kylestyle has some good prices on themed squads:

http://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-53200-19255-0/1?type=4&cam...

You could buy probably 5-8 of his lots for your budget. By buying a lot from him, you'll get exactly what you want and do better price-wise than buying the pieces individually from an online seller (like miniaturemarket.com or coolstuffinc.com), but not nearly as well as getting a largish collection all at once.

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Flying Arrow
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Regarding maps, Jakster had a great suggestion in the Attack on Endor scenario pack. 4 great maps (mostly related to the original trilogy) plus an AT-ST.

The cheapest maps, though, are the 3 Clone Wars map packs: Attack on Teth, Showdown at Teth, and Crystal Caves of Ilum. 2 maps and 2 miniatures per map pack, and you can find them for under $5 pretty easily.

The other cheap option is ArmoredCartographer's Map Pack 4, which is $20 for 8 maps. It's only available at Miniature Market:
http://www.miniaturemarket.com/swac-stft.html

On the other hand, if you get someone's whole collection, you might get enough maps that you don't need to worry about it.
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Sean Long
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Thanks again. I trolled eBay and put in some bids for various lots. We'll see if I win those, and if I don't I'll probably pick up one of the Buy it Now lots of 60 - 80 mini's. That should be plenty for some good playing.

I'll definitely be picking up ArmoredCartographer's Map Pack, it will give us a lot of great variety.
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Michael Taylor
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I just started myself about 6 months ago so you're not alone!

Good points here, but I agree, an eBay lot is a much better deal than buying a case.

Also dont forget Trading!

For example, for a while all I could find was Imperial Entanglements, so I've got a TON of extras for that set. I've already trading two of the Very Rare Darth Vaders!

Also through trades and lots I've got a TON of extra AT-STs and extras of ALL the maps from the Endor set for example, so they are easily traded for as well.

I've done pretty well trading for figures I want on these sites:
http://www.bloomilk.com/Collection/michaeltaylor/Trades

http://www.miniaturetrading.com/

I luckily found a group of players and they're very generous trading too. It's a fun part of the game, and most players are pretty generous, especially with new players.

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Jeffrey Dill
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If not already stated, try your local Target also. Mine, just within the last month or two, finally ran out of $4.99 booster packs from multiple sets...some of the 'backwoods' locations that got stuck with a lot of stock that wouldn't normally sell at retail price, have been marking them down to get rid of them. They usually can be found on end caps near the games section, hidden in the middle of yu-gi-oh and other 'kiddy' collectible games.

Some of the ebay prices can be kinda steep for what you get, but I'm new to the SW minis myself (and kinda cheap, to boot) so I've found better bang for my buck getting some of the cheaper (un)commons through the various online sellers (i.e.- stormtroopers, rebels,snowtroopers, hoth troopers, etc) and biting the bullet for some of the major characters. Although, at this point I don't think I'll ever get my hands on a boba fett(I gotta draw the line at $20-$50+, inch-size, pieces of plastic).

As stated already, get the endor map/at-st, it has a few scenarios as well. You can also find a small starter set with (old)ben kenobi & vader with a decent map, usually pretty cheap on ebay. I recently ordered the Revenge of the Sith starter (w/ 6 figures & mounted map) on ebay from Troll & Toad (I think)...it was discounted down to $20 with free shipping, whoever it was had more than 10 copies -- you can find a used copy cheap on ebay too. Miniature Market has a lot of the clone wars '2-packs' for $4 bucks each, all with two-sided maps (although I've heard they're pretty generic) and also a 6 pack starter with obi-wan & dooku. They have a hoth scenario pack, that basically comes with a two-sided map, two scenarios, a die and counters for $4.

Anyway, I hope some of the above helps, but it looks like it'll be ebay and flea markets from here on out as Wizkids discontinued this line some time ago and Fantasy Flight is in no hurry to revive it...

Jeff
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Sean Long
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Thanks, that's a good point. I got a good amount of mini's for cheap from eBay. Definitely enough to start playing. Now I just need to pick up some maps and starter kits to get the rule sets.
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Byron
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Five years ago I used to piss people off at tourneys playing the "Nom Bomb" strategy. I remember that being a really fun, relatively cheap squad to play.
 
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Sean Long
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Managed to play a quick, small (50 point) game last night with the Fiance. The system is so much fun, now I'm addicted to buying more mini's... again...

Thanks!
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"Every Board Game I Reach Is Dead"
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I know exactly how you feel!

I'm a sucker for miniature games and although I'm not personally a huge Star Wars fan or anything my girlfriend is and so I will keep my eye out for a really good deal!

Damn CMG money sinks... goo
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Flying Arrow
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Narlgoth wrote:
I know exactly how you feel!

I'm a sucker for miniature games and although I'm not personally a huge Star Wars fan or anything my girlfriend is and so I will keep my eye out for a really good deal!

Damn CMG money sinks... goo


Smaller money sink if it's a dead game, at least.
 
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